Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cussons Baby Moment: Parents Accuse Organisers Of Favouritism and Exploitation #CBM5

Disappointed, aggrieved and feeling used, many parents across the country have taken to social media accusing Cussons Baby Nigeria, an arm of PZ Cussons Nigeria Limited, of taking advantage of them and deceiving them to achieve their marketing objectives in the name of a baby contest called Cussons Baby Moment.

The company started a contest on March 5th in which parents were told to upload photos of their babies on the company's website where a voting button will be provided under each photos. But here is the condition, you must buy a cussons' product and include it in their babies entry photos. Parents will then embark on a promotional spree to direct people to the company's website to vote.
According to Cussons there are three stages of voting: Top 500, Top 100, and Top 20. Top 500 voting will last for a period of 2 weeks, while Top 100 voting will last for 5 days. From the top 100 most voted babies, the judges will choose 50 babies and another round of voting to prune the 50 babies to top 20 will last for a week. The winners will be picked from thence.

Parents are insisting that the contest is a sham and the baby product company from the beginning have been tweaking their algorithm to favour certain babies, who may be acquintances of the company or its associates.
From the beginning of the contest, parents have trooped to Cussons Baby Nigeria social media pages demanding fairness in the contest when it was discovered that their babies votes were not being counted while they witness those of some particular babies skyrocketing.
To these parents, their sweat in promoting their babies to get votes is likened to one fetching water into a basket, while the huge efforts massively benefit Cussons Baby at the marketing end of the spectrum.
After much ranting from parents, Cussons admitted that indeed there were errors in the contest especially as regards their shoddy voting system and discrepancies in voting figures; while they promised to  fixed them, but nothing was done even despite announcing to parents that the issues have been rectified.

Unfortunately as at the time of writing this, there have been even more problems and anomalies with the contest since the beginning of the top 20 voting last week. As you will see in the video attached, you can actually vote for a baby as many times as you want as against their boast that their system was solid and you can't vote more than once for each babies.

  "It's pretty much unfortunate that Cussons Baby lured parents out to do the dirty job of advertising for them and then they already have their winner",said an aggrieved mom who spoke to NEH.

 She continues; "I already sent a mail to Consumer Protection Council (CPC), the organisers quickly made a post saying CPC officials were part of the judges. Must a mere baby contest be full of evil? Moms are hurting but no one is brave  enough".

When we contacted CPC to ask if they were indeed part of the panel of judges, the CPC rep who answered our call denied that the body was part of any activities in the contest, although they are aware that the contest is ongoing.

Asked if they were aware of the alarming complaints from parents, they said "No" and asked "where are parents complaining?"

This platform was then told to forward a formal complaint letter to the Director of CPC in order to get a detailed response, which we did, but as at the time of publishing this 24hours later, there was no response from CPC.

As if the parents troubles weren't enough from Cussons, parents whose babies made it to the top 100 but got their babies booted out of the contest and denied a chance at being among the Top 50, even despite having the highest votes in Top 100 rounds are also crying foul.

Cussons told these parents that the fact that their babies are in the top 100, doesn't guarantee they will be picked for the top 50 irrespective of whether they are among the most voted or not.

 According to Cussons, the babies will be picked based on defined criteria, but the company never at any point make these "defined criteria" known to the parents despite unending demands from these parents that they should state the criteria for picking babies; and that was where most parents began to suspect that something might be fishy.

According to a mum in the contest, "This people should fear God o. What sort of precedence is Cussons laying for Nigeria babies. My biggest disappointed came when the top 50 babies were picked and we have been asking them to tell us what the criteria is but they hid the criteria from parents and told them to keep driving traffic to the website for vote, when they knew that voting wouldn't matter. Which credible contest will not tell contestants its criteria?."

Cussons Baby Nigeria would later reply Newseveryhour in their comment section that the judges comprising Mercy Aigbe, Mai Atafo and Yetunde Babaeko, picked the top 50 babies base on what they described as "clarify,high quality of photo, creativity,pose amongst others."  But that was after the deed was done.

Although apart from the fact that in most reputable and credible baby contests around the world, the criteria for judging baby photos are the naturalness of the photos (not edited studio shots), decisive moments in the photo, and physical assessment of bodily traits such as skin tones, eye colour, hair colour charisma, etc, for Cussons Baby Nigeria and their "expert judges", over edited studio shots and arranged pose are the criteria of a baby's look as can been seen in the current 50 babies picked by their judges.

Further investigations by newseveryhour revealed that the accusation of inside connections and favouritism being involved in the contest may not be far from the truth as investigation evidences collated by this blog speak volume and will be revealed at the appropriate time.

Based on our investigations, the winner of Cussons Baby Moment 5, may have been long concluded by the organisers even before the start of the contest.

All these issues bring into question the competence of Cussons Baby as an organisation to organise a credible contest in Nigeria.

Parents have now called on Cussons Baby Nigeria to tow the path of honour and save itself from further embarrassment by cancelling the contest, as they promised to do in case of any major anomaly; as this may have already poisoned the minds of Nigerians against other bodies that plan to conduct similar contest in future with genuine intention.


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